Pope Pius IX Commemorative Medal
Department of Art after 1800
65.5 x 101.5 cm
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||This artwork is not on display|
Ruscha moved to Los Angeles in 1956. His efflorescence as an artist cannot be separated from Pop Art gaining ascendancy on the West Coast. He is linked to it by the thematic sources found in everyday life and even more by the technical tricks and visual tools used in commercial culture. His favourite themes include road signs, emblems, for which he borrows the precise typological style of advertising boards. By incorporated words or slogans in his pictures, he had a considerable influence on conceptual art. Sometimes a single word constitutes the drawing or print, e.g. the three letters of RAW cut out of paper, photographed and screen-printed (MO.91.87).
In 1962, he made a series of photos of petrol stations around Los Angeles and published them in a book entitled Twenty-six Gasoline Stations, without any verbal commentary. Later he got out this raw material and repeated it in a screenprint series of 1969. The screenprints, similarly to the photos and other works, are made with mechanical precision, in an utterly impassioned manner. Be it a photo, painting or graphic work, the material remains perfectly neutral, neither the technique, nor the theme counts, „they are simply a collection of ‘facts’”. Aligned with a typical range of Pop Art, he claims that the method is important, not the content. Both the theme and the execution are deprived of all individual traits, everything is simplified to the utmost, to serve the demonstration of the method.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.